The move will save Tampa $13 million against the salary cap.
McCoy's future with the Bucs was thrown into question in March after first-year head coach Bruce Arians said the veteran was "not as disruptive as he was four years ago." The comment seemed to irk McCoy, who didn't join the team for conditioning workouts in April.
A former No. 3 overall pick, McCoy has spent nine seasons in Tampa and leaves as one of the greatest players in franchise history. He's posted 297 tackles and 54.5 sacks in 123 career games.
Tampa now faces even more questions along its defensive line, which may be without injured pass-rusher Jason Pierre-Paul for most of the 2019 season. Vita Vea, a 2018 first-round pick, will presumably assume a larger role.
McCoy, meanwhile, now becomes one of the league's highest-profile free agents. He joins fellow defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who was drafted one spot before him in 2010, on the open market.
The 31-year-old McCoy, who has never tasted the playoffs, wants to join a contender, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Dallas Cowboys could all emerge as potential suitors, suggests Schefter.